- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 6, 2012

BEIJING (AP) — A pair of U.S. envoys are preparing to finalize arrangements of the first U.S. government food aid shipment to impoverished North Korea in three years.

Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, and senior U.S. Agency for International Development official Jon Brause arrived in Beijing on Tuesday. They will meet their North Korean counterparts Wednesday to finish discussions on technical issues related to providing the humanitarian assistance

The last handouts ended abruptly in 2009 when North Korea expelled U.S. food monitors.

An agreement was reached last week for a resumption of shipments in exchange for North Korea’s agreeing to freeze nuclear activities and allow the return of U.N. nuclear inspectors.